tv [untitled] May 29, 2011 9:00am-9:30am PDT
>> tell us where he grew up. supervisor kim: i grew up on the new york city. my parents immigrated to the u.s. i actually started becoming active in the community in high school. ed i went to stanford. -- i went to stanford. when i graduated, i move to san francisco. my first job, i started working developing economic policies for low-income communities statewide in california. i worked with young people, parents, families are around issues that concern our neighborhoods, whether it was communities, affordable housing, public schools, or just planning issues in neighborhoods like parks. i did that and actually ran for the board of education here in san francisco.
i got a term on the school board working for families in our public school system and actually worked for the lawyers community and i came to the board of supervisors. >> why did you choose to live in san francisco? supervisor kim: you know, i do not know if i have a good answer for that. i just wanted to try it out. >> tell me what motivated your interest in politics. supervisor kim: that is a tough question to answer. i never had any intention to get involved in the electoral process. >> really? supervisor kim: i was always politically active. i was always working on statewide initiatives, and i worked on several campaigns. i worked as an organizer. i did not really have an
interest in an electoral process, because -- i just have this perception the process was 30, and when i went to the ballot to vote, it looked like i was taking the better of two evils. i did not have a strong interest. working as an organizer, you get to know issues surrounding budget for schools or housing, and i began to see people were really accessible and some had started working with the community and we got more and more engaged. >> where do you place yourself on the political spectrum? supervisor kim: i think i definitely fall on the left. >> was there anything surprising about the campaign process? supervisor kim: it was my third campaign running for office. i ran for the school board twice
before. in many ways, i was already -- i already knew what i had signed myself up for. it was physically grueling, emotionally grueling, really tiring. the one thing i enjoyed was i got to know voters and residents. you do not really get to do that when you run citywide. i enjoyed campaigning more because i had time to meet voters individually, and i loved it. i really enjoyed being out on the field. i spent all lot of time doing it. which i thought was important -- both for me because i get a deeper understanding of what people care about, and what people loved about the district and the city, and i think it was better for our community that i
was out there one on one. >> what are the biggest issues for san francisco right now? supervisor kim: economic development. that is the biggest issue for san francisco and the country. our economy is not in the best place that it could be. we really do see that people want to see more jobs for everybody. second, it is probably a myriad of issues. for our district, and think public safety issues -- ranging from low-level crime to larger public safety issues. we held our first hearing on pedestrian public safety in district 6. we learned that san francisco has the highest rate of vehicle pedestrian collisions in the state of california, our rate that is higher than tokyo, london, other major cities. a
costs are taxpayers every time we go to the hospital. we can do better. other cities are doing better than we are. that is an important issue we have the highest rate in the city, and you're probably higher than any other city. " we have spent on pedestrian safety over the last four years is close to $13 million. >> how to balance the needs of the district compared to the city? supervisor kim: it is interesting representing a district and a collection of neighborhoods. for me, it is interesting because i represent the city of san francisco. i mean you represent those who
live in the district. i care very deeply about what is going on in terms of racial tension between asian and african american communities in the bayview or whether we're talking about muni were talking about public safety issues in other neighborhoods -- i think it is important for me to support the issue's going around the neighborhood. i think most san francisco residents do not identify themselves by their district. >> once again, the city is faced with tough budget decisions, including whether to raise taxes and fees or whether to make cuts. how will your approach these choices? supervisor kim: the budget is tough this year. even though our deficit is not
as large as it has been, it is tough because we have made these cuts already, and did this point, we are cutting things we really do not want to cut. and it is painful. we will lose more potential services. we will also not be able to support our residents. we are looking at weekend meals for seniors. it is painful. i think we have to look at it as a combined approach. it has to be cut within city government that we can bear -- services that are less essential. second, you have to look at raising revenue in the city. i think it needs to be a combination. and third, need to be much better informed, and we have to
ask our public employees to look at the budget. and they already have, but also to look back. it is a threefold approach to me. >> what are the city's housing needs him much of the board of supervisors to to address them? supervisor kim: it is tough, because we depend on the market to build housing for our residents we build at over 150% of the need. we are building over the need of the market rates. we are actually building at roughly 80% of that need. so, not bad, but not great. a lot of that has happened through the work of the board of supervisors, negotiating with developers to develop very low income housing for individuals
who were formerly homeless. but as you start to look at the categories, a lower income and middle income folks, we're not building for that need at all. i think we need to do more to make sure we are supporting that type of housing. one initiative i started working on was a student teacher housing which is directly in that income, essential employee housing. we will be releasing an rfp, which is really exciting, because we want to keep people engaged. we have to push for more. need to pass another affordable
housing bond. it has come up two more times, and i hope we have the political will to support that again. >> what are your ideas about dealing with the issue of homelessness? supervisor kim: homelessness is a tough issue. we have amazing organizations that run incredible centers and services, and also supports the board of housing for the formerly homeless. not just providing housing, but safe housing and services -- whether it is job training for drug rehab or mental health. there are two categories of homelessness. this is on the end of been able to afford to live in san francisco. that live paycheck to paycheck. when they do not get that next paycheck, they could be homeless the next week on that level, we need to continue to support economic development, support
job creation, small businesses, the act would create 60% to 70% of the jobs in san francisco. we need to push legislation white -- like local hire, which is supervisor avalos's legislation. we demand that companies hire folks from our city. that is one end. we have to do what we can use to subsidize other essential services, whether it is transportation or public health, so people can afford to live in the city. then you have another category of homelessness, which is chronic homelessness. it is not just living paycheck to paycheck, but other issues like mental health or drug addiction. that is a much harder population to address. i think -- the district that i
represent as many of the community organizations. it continues to be a pressing problem. >> where do you think the attics and mentally ill will go? supervisor kim: first of all, a ton of families live in the tenderloin. people do not realize this, but the tenderloin is a family neighborhood. it in not a proponent for cleaning up the tenderloin. i love the tenderloin. i love what it is right now. you know, i recognize that we have a diversity of folks who want to live there. i do not have a problem with people being out on the streets and socializing.
it is part of the character of the neighborhood. i do not think the party is something we should criminalize. that being said, we cannot have open drug dealing. i do support a foot patrol. we are currently working with several organizations or have safe passages where we have high school students and adults in the neighborhood. but shockingly, one of the top issues is being hit by cars, more than getting harassed by neighbors. that is something we are working on as well, traffic issues, can turn some of those streets to be two-way. another thing that we are trying to push is actually getting some business incubators in the neighborhood, because there are
a lot of people who want to open businesses that cater to the families who live there. we do not have a full-service gross restore in the tenderloin, but we do have a number of -- grocery store in the tenderloin, but we do have a number of small businesses. >> what is happening with crime in your district and hal is the police department doing? supervisor kim: it is a difficult issue. i probably interface with the police department every week because with such an incredible need from our police officers in our district, ranging from south beach to the tender line to the intermission. -- to the tenderloin to the inner mission. i want to see our officers on the street, walking the beat, and i want our small business owners to know who they are.
i think that alone creates an atmosphere of safety that is really important. i'm really excited about the substation coming up to 63. i think we need to continue to provide social services in our district. it has to be a partnership with sfpd. >> what about community courts? supervisor kim: i visited the court it was modeled after, which is the red hook court in brooklyn. the judge will visit the
apartments or the locations talked about in the case and he has evolved this relationship of trust with the neighborhood that think is really positive. i think we are not there yet, here in san francisco. i am not sure if that is a time issue or the tenderloin is a different type of neighborhood then -- than red hook. i think we need alternatives to our criminal justice system. i do not think our criminal justice actually works. many of the offenders to come through our system of flood started as victims of urea the community courts is a way of addressing those offenders, which is important and what i hope to see from the community court here. i do not think we are there yet. it does not mean we cannot get there. it took several years for the judge to develop a relationship with that neighborhood.
>> what are your thoughts on the city's economic development? are we on track? supervisor kim: i think economic development is a policy area our city continues to struggle with your read it is so dependent on what the state and federal government does. on the local level, i would love for us to figure out what we can do, because this is the heart of san francisco. as i said before, they provide 70% of the jobs here. most people do not realize that. small businesses are what provides jobs here. they provided locally and the hon not going to go, they are not going to offshore their jobs any time. i think we're in a very difficult city. we have tons of permits, tons of different apartments to go through. i wish there were a way to
streamline the process, just to make it easier for them to be here in san francisco. >> what are your thoughts about expanding the tax breaks, giving business to other areas in your district? >> i talked a little bit earlier about raising taxes and raising revenues and fees, and for me, the tax exemption is something i do not philosophically supports. yet, i often represent part of san francisco that has been neglected for decades, and that is the midmarket corridor. we have over 3 million square feet of commercial real estate. a lot of it has been vacant for decades. the building twitter is going to be using, it has been vacant since 1968. we have to start looking at what tools do we have to revitalize the area, and what i like about
this legislation is we are not just giving a tax break to come in. you have to create jobs. you pay your payroll tax base, but if you move to midmarket and create jobs, we will not tax you on those jobs for six years. for the next six years, you are a community partner with us, partnering with us to revitalize neighborhood and then, if you are successful in six years, hopefully and the midmarket become successful, you come back into the tax system. i do not have an interest in expanding it. it was not about corporate welfare to companies. that was not the purpose. the purpose was to help revitalize the area and make it the use is supposed to be for large businesses that have an
incredible number of jobs for santa insistence. with 18 muni bus lines that -- for san francisco. we have 18 muni bus lines that run through it. that is what this legislation was carefully tailored to have that type of outcome. i am happy to concede we should monitor the legislation and make sure it is doing what we wanted to do. >> talk about the role of sports and in the city's future. you have thoughts about the america's cup, the 49ers? supervisor kim: i am a fan of the forty-niners and are giants and are warriors. i want them to stay in the area. one thing i love about the giants is it is so easily accessible by caltran and muni, and i hope to see that
infrastructure build for the forty-niners if the state. the same thing for the america's cup. we have to make sure as we build infrastructure for major sporting events we are keeping in mind the needs of san francisco and what they would like to see come out of these events. it is great if it creates jobs and helps to raise our tax base. >> slightly unrelated, but i am curious how you feel your work -- how your work with the school board has prepared to for being a supervisor? supervisor kim: i will say this about the board of education. when i ran for the board of education, i really wanted to represent and make sure i had to be -- had to have a voice in the system. what really surprised me about being on the school board was how much i enjoyed it. i really loved it.
i love meeting with families, meeting with teachers, visiting schools, and getting a deeper understanding of how our system works better and doing it with our communities. on that level, it prepared me for a much wider scale,, what it means to work for constituents, and also kind of -- you know, the low interfacing with your colleagues, working with a large bureaucracy to make it happen. it is tough. it is not easy to come before the community organizers -- working with small nonprofits, it was very unfamiliar to me, to slowly move a large glacier.
>> are there any other issues that concern you we have not discussed, or any other issues of specific interest you plan to concentrate on? supervisor kim: job growth, economic development. land use. i did to represent one of the most exciting and dynamic districts in the city. i think it is exciting weekend model how to be a smart growth neighborhood, how we can use transit effectively to serve our city and do a lot of green-type policies we have developed over the last 10 years. but the third area of office is really interested in is how to support families in need. honestly, that is not something city hall has done in good enough job with. in many ways, we at city hall
feel we're off the hook in that area, that we do not have to worry about our public schools, that other people haven't covered. i think the city can do a tremendous amount. it can do a tremendous amount for our families. one thing i learned from my predecessor, chris daly, is what we can do to ensure we are prioritizing parts and affordable housing for our families and -- prioritizing parks and affordable housing for our families. i think that we need to support things that our schools cannot fund, like summer school. i would love for our city, in better revenue years, to have the longest school year and the longest school day, to really model for the rest of california what you can do if you really fund schools.